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Germany’s Rida Gains Confidence Through All-Around Bronze
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First-year German senior Karim Rida told IG that his bronze medal-winning all-around performance at this month’s German Championships was as satisfying as it was unexpected.

“Third place was a real surprise for me,” said the 19-year-old Rida, whose all-around score of 81.60 points placed him third behind 28-year-old gold medalist Andreas Toba (83.10) and 31-year-old silver medalist Marcel Nguyen (82.35). “I was thinking about being in the top 10 perhaps, but then it happened and I got the bronze medal. It was a great feeling to stand on the winner’s podium beside the experienced athletes.”

Rida said his podium finish was the product of intense training in the lead-up to the competition.

“I trained very hard before the championships,” said Rida, who is coached by Robert Hirsch in Berlin. “It wasn’t always easy and it took a lot of effort, but I had a good feeling because my coach prepared me very well.”

Rida’s performance at the German Championships positions him well for this fall’s World Championships in Stuttgart and next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, but he has not burst into the German senior ranks as an unknown.

Rida placed first all-around at the 2017 German Junior Championships and second all-around at the 2018 German Junior Championships. Last year he was eighth all-around, second on parallel bars and eighth on floor exercise at the European Junior Championships in Glasgow.

Although Rida’s recent success has made him a strong candidate for Tokyo, he said he and his team must earn a Games berth through a solid performance in Stuttgart.

“We are still not thinking of the Olympic Games because first we have to qualify for them,” said Rida, a native of Eberswalde whose Moroccan father was born in Casablanca and whose mother is German. “Only if we will have passed the championships in Stuttgart we will know if we can take part in the Olympic Games. So a good result in Stuttgart is our next goal.”

To secure a spot on the German team in Stuttgart and hopefully Tokyo, Rida said he wants to demonstrate reliability and precision.

“I do not have much experience but I can improve my performances and try to clean up my exercises as well as possible,” he told IG. “I hope to show stable and well-done exercises, and I will train for this very hard.”

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